tv NBC Nightly News NBC June 30, 2014 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
forecast. >> we'll have another update in our 6:00 news. for now, over to brian williams and nightly news. on our broadcast tonight, terrorist threat. the heavily armed isis militants fighting in iraq may now be targeting u.s. interests. and tonight, more american troops are headed to baghdad. controversial rulings. what the supreme court decided about health insurance and contraception and paying union dues. social experiment. has facebook been toying with your emotions? the story tonight behind the company's apology. and fashion statement. in her very first television interview, pippa middleton opens up about her life in the spotlight and the post wedding overnight fame. "nightly news" begins now. good evening. the heavily armed militants
fighting their way across iraq known until now as isis are no longer a matter of concern just in that region. there are now real concerns they could hit u.s. interests here or abroad. and in iraq, there's renewed concern about protecting the u.s. embassy, a gleaming symbol of the united states, which could be a large and inviting target. just tonight, the white house has announced its intention to send 300 more military personnel to iraq along with drones and helicopters for, quote, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support. we begin tonight in baghdad once again with our chief foreign correspondent richard engel. richard, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. the u.s. sent these additional 300 troop, not just to protect the embassy and assist in a possible evacuation, if one were ordered. no evacuation of the embassy has been ordered, but also to protect the baghdad international airport.
militants from isis now have positions not very far from the airport. they also have captured artillery which would potentially allow them to attack the airport from afar. all of this is a sign how seriously the u.s. is taking the threat from isis, not just to iraq or the region, but directly to the united states. isis militants have land, weapons, and ambition. and u.s. officials are now very worried. several counterterrorism officials tell nbc news the threat from isis to american interests is, quote, extremely high. they say isis is developing advanced bomb-making skills. and cultivating a roster of foreign suicide bombers who could target the u.s. and europe and they're bragging about it. this fighter, claiming to be from chile, says iraq and syria are just the beginning.
>> iraq, jordan, lebanon, all the countries. >> reporter: isis puts out daily propaganda, videos showing its brutal attacks. the videos can't be independently verified, but the intentions are clear. >> we are going for you, barack obama. >> the holy grail for these groups are to strike in the west. attacks in london, attacks in the united states. this is what they strive for and more and more, this is a concern of u.s. intelligence. >> reporter: there is one saving grace -- isis, savage and intolerant -- is generally losing support wherever it goes. in a baghdad mosque today, iraqi shiites expressed disdain for the group. they are hated, he says, and many sunnis agree. by being so bold, perhaps overconfident, isis has created a lot of enemies.
and not just among iraqis. you have to be uniquely unpopular to have hezbollah, israel, the syrian regime, and syrian rebels, the u.s., russia, and iran all ending up against you. but hated or not, isis has carved out a safe haven in the heart of the middle east that may now be the most dangerous terrorist sanctuary in the world. u.s. officials say about 70 americans have also traveled at some stage to fight in syria and that about a dozen are there right now. u.s. officials are also very concerned about the hundreds of fighters with european passports which could potentially make it easier for them to make it into the united states and carry out some sort of attack. >> richard engel starting us off again tonight from baghdad. richard, thank you. elsewhere in the middle east today, the bodies of three israeli teenage boys were found near the west bank town of hebron where they were abducted while hitchhiking over two weeks ago. ending an intense search.
president obama was among those who expressed outrage over the killings. the abductions were praised by the militant group, the palestinian group hamas. and after the bodies were discovered the israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu declared that, quote, hamas will pay. big day at the supreme court on this last day of its term. they ruled that, like the rest of us, corporations have a right to exercise their religion. in this case, where it applies to providing insurance coverage for contraceptives. but the court emphasized this doesn't mean companies are free to use the ruling to ignore any law they choose. our report from our justice correspondent pete williams. >> reporter: supporters of the hobby lobby cheered today's victory. the oklahoma family that owns the chain of 500 craft stores claimed that providing insurance coverage for some forms of contraceptives under obamacare would be the equivalent of paying for abortion, violating the company's religious beliefs. by a vote of 5-4, the court said a profit-making company can have
legally protected religious freedom, ruling the owners of hobby lobby and a pennsylvania cabinet maker don't forfeit protection for their religious reviews when they incorporate. >> we are truly thankful for this decision that allows us to continue operating our family business according to our principles. >> equally important, the court said, women who work for these companies can get contraceptive coverage another way under obamacare. the same method used by nonprofits connected to churches. either the insurance companies or the government pays for it. women's groups say the court was too worried about the rights of the companies at the expense of their employees. >> it's the individual religious beliefs of the woman that should matter. her boss shouldn't decide for her. >> reporter: the court's dissenterses called it startling and said that it will allow companies to opt out of any law based on religious beliefs.
but the court's majority said big publicly traded companies cannot claim religious objections, only what it called closely held companies organized around clear religious views like the greens who own hobby lobby. but could the ruling let businesses to refuse to hire or serve some customers based on religious grounds? >> the justices signaled those claims would lose because here the government had another way out, but they don't have another way of preventing discrimination. >> reporter: the obama administration today said congress may have to fix what the court has done. >> today's decision jeopardized the health of women employed by these companies. >> reporter: an nbc news/wall street journal poll in march found 53% said companies should not be exempt from religious grounds from providing birth control coverage. house speaker john boehner in a written statement says the ruling proves president obama overreached in the health care law. but house democratic leader nancy pelosi said women should not be forced to jump through extra hoops to get the health coverage they need. the court today also dealt something of a setback to labor unions that represent government
employees. today's ruling does not apply to full-time public employees, like teachers, firefighters, or police. but the court said government workers who care for people at home and don't join the union do not have to pay union fees. opponents of public sector unions were hoping the court would go further. still, another 5-4 vote does chip away at the power of public sector unions. brian? >> pete williams after a busy final day this term at the supreme court. pete, thanks. as thousands of undocumented immigrants cross the border into this country, many of them children, the president said today he'll no longer wait for congress to act on broad immigration reform. he announced his intention to move on his own starting with an action to make it easier to deport people who cross the border. >> i take executive action only when we have a serious problem, a serious issue and congress chooses to do nothing.
and in this situation, the failure of house republicans to pass a darn bill is bad for our security, it's bad for our economy, and it's bad for our future. >> and along our southern border today, the humanitarian crisis was only getting worse at what one congressman is now calling refugee camps. we have more on that tonight from nbc's miguel almaguer. >> reporter: this is what an immigration crisis looks like -- waves of children risking their lives. today along the texas border, the influx continues. since october, 52,000 children, many traveling alone to escape poverty and violence in central america, have been apprehended trying to enter the u.s. >> those who are thinking of sending your children on the long 1,000-mile journey need to know it is not safe. it is dangerous. >> reporter: detention centers along the border are overwhelmed.
not enough beds or blankets to go around. many who work with undocumented immigrants say this crisis is a wake-up call. >> this issue, since it involves children, could be the rosa parks moment of immigration reform. people are going to be saying, my god, how about my children? how about if i was in that situation? >> reporter: a hundred miles from the border in california, tonight the locals say they are bracing for but cannot handle an onslaught of immigrants. >> we're not prepared for this type of influx. we weren't prepared and we're not prepared. >> reporter: with the border patrol facility just outside of town, 140 children and adults are scheduled to arrive tomorrow. the mayor said this is just the first wave. many more will come. >> the true solution to this will be a collaborative effort of a region standing up and sending a message to washington, d.c. to put a stop to it so we
stop having to manage their headache. >> reporter: at this facility, the mayor says that 140 undocumented immigrants will come to this facility every three days for the foreseeable future. he said many of those families will be released right into local communities. brian?zx >> miguel almaguer, thanks. for the middle part of our country, no let-up tonight from a wave of severe and dangerous weather. a lot of it hitting in iowa today, and now heading east. we get our report tonight from nbc's katy tur. >> reporter: a relentless series of storms battering the midwest again today. in iowa, the rotating sky was only the beginning. 50-foot trees, no match for powerful winds just north of des moines. outside of cedar rapids, torrential rains caused a sinkhole on highway 1 that swallowed an suv. and golfball-sized hail pounded fort dodge.
thunderstorms left this family home smoking after a lightning strike ripped open their roof and rushed them out of bed. >> we heard the sirens go off. about five minutes later, a thunder boom shook the whole house. >> reporter: in minnesota, a weekend rain kept the mississippi above major flood stage. so far, this june is the wettest on record since 1874. >> stay on this side of the street. don't go this way. >> reporter: security footage caught the power of an ef-1 tornado in colfax, wisconsin. in neighboring downsville, downed trees blocked streets. >> i have never felt that feeling of standing in the house and all of a sudden it seemed like the roof was going to lift right off the house. >> reporter: meanwhile in memphis, tennessee, roads became rivers, and storms lit up the canvas sky. and tonight, millions more are still under threat. these storms are already being blamed for one death in iowa. and the national weather service just issued a particularly dangerous situation for chicago
as a derecho with wind gusts up to 80 miles an hour is headed this way. >> katy tur in chicago, thanks. we're keeping an eye on low pressure east of florida that could become a named tropical storm. that would put it near the outer banks by the fourth, before it would depart on up the coast towards new england. gm announced yet another recall today. this time more than 8 million cars, mainly older and mid sized models. gm said the issue in this one is, quote, unintended ignition key rotation. this brings total gm recalls for the year to nearly 29 million, and that's a record for any carmaker ever. also today, attorney kenneth feinberg announced plans to pay victims of crashes involving those defective gm defective ignition switches. we know of at least 13 deaths. each of the victim's families will receive at least $1 million. feinberg has had the same role, distributing money for damages
after 9/11, the bp oil spill, and the boston marathon bombings as well. president obama today nominated a veteran of military and business to become secretary of veteran affairs. he's robert mcdonald, a west point graduate. he became an airborne army ranger. more recently he was are lly he procter & gamble. after a life in the consumer products business, he now takes over a va hounded by the scandal involve aring treatment delays at v.a. hospitals. still ahead for us tonight, buried in the fine print, the controversial experiment by facebook that some say was tinkering with users' emotions. and later, matt lauer's exclusive interview with pippa middleton, starting with the day she became known around the world.
the truth is, online consumers agree to these policies every single day, complicated documents. google's is over 4,000 words, ebay, 5,000. for those feeling a little ambitious, linkedin's policy, 8,000 words. industry experts say internet companies live and die by how they can use their customer information. >> facebook is a really tricky balance between making great use of the data it collects and will collect in the future and not irritating everybody so much that they'll go away. >> reporter: in response to the anger today, facebook explained why they did this in the first place. we do research to improve our services and to make the content people see on facebook as relevant and engaging as possible. anyone not willing to share should probably unfriend. stephanie gosk, nbc news, new york. we're back in a moment with an emergency landing and the highly unusual event that caused it.
it's being called an accident, not sabotage, and it led to an emergency landing when the rear evacuation slide in a jet from are chicago to california deployed in the rear galley in flight. the pilots made an emergency landing in wichita. no injuries. all aboard, fine. morning television viewers here in new york were treated to a stunning image today. the new world trade center, the freedom tower, as it's called, 1,776 feet piercing through a low cloud deck, poking through the top of the sky after sunrise this morning. now to the view from a bit farther up, moving at 17,000 miles an hour, this is what lightning looks like for the astronauts onboard the international space station. a boisterous storm over houston, texas, where they get some professional grade thunder and lightning. the iss crew members get to see all kinds of weather extremes, simply by orbiting the earth every 90 minutes. and a funeral director in the uk is appealing to members
of the british public to show up as mourners for a decorated raf hero from the second world war who died alone without surviving immediate family. sidney marshall was 90, his funeral is friday. he was the recipient of the distinguished flying medal for shooting down five fighters and was part of the mission that took out germany's second largest battleship. it was among the most daring british raids of the war. when we come back, matt lauer's exclusive interview with pippa middleton.
finally here tonight, when you think about it, she's become famous around the world, yet before today we've never heard her voice before. it all started three years ago at the wedding of the century as they called it in london. when kate middleton married prince william, the world also got to meet kate's sister pippa. she had never given an interview of any kind before, before sitting down exclusively with matt lauer. >> reporter: it was the wedding of the century. the royal marriage of kate middleton to prince william, the future king of england. >> what was it like to be in it? >> it sounds funny to say, but we thought as a family it was just a family wedding.
i had to make sure i helped my sister where i should and look after the bridesmaids and page boys. >> reporter: the bride was radiant, the groom, beaming. >> i didn't realize the scale of it until afterwards. we saw crowds rushing around the balcony and i thought, wow, this is pretty special. >> reporter: it didn't take long after that moment and people started talking about you. and for lack of a better way to explain it, the way your dress fit. how did you feel about that? >> it was completely unexpected. i think the plan was not really for it to be a significant dress. really just to sort of blend in with the train. i suppose it's flattering. >> where is the famous dress? >> in my wardrobe at home. >> after the royal wedding, pippa middleton was thrust into the spotlight. >> i'm just paving my way and trying to live a life, like any 30-year-old. i have felt publically bullied a little bit.
i think people feel they can say something about you online or on a web page when they would never say it to your face. >> anonymity is a very powerful thing. >> yeah. just keep bouncing back. car arying on and trying not to let it affect you is hard . >> reporter: more recently, this is the fashion statement she's been making as part of a team cycling 3,000 miles across the u.s. to raise money for two important causes. one of the charities that you're riding for is the british heart association. >> i recently became an ambassador for them. >> reporter: the other charity raises money for childhood education, named in honor of a young climber who died on mt. everest. >> on those days when the legs were racing and the bum, as you guys would call it here, didn't want to stay on that seat much longer, you think about him and -- >> yeah. it gives a real purpose to it. >> interesting conversation. matt's interview continues tomorrow morning on "today." as for us, that's our broadcast on a monday night as we start a new week. thank you for being here with us. i'm brian williams. we, of course, hope to see you
right back here tomorrow evening. right back here tomorrow evening. good night. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com nbc bay area news starts now. right now at 6:00, our hot weather fueling two separate fires in the south bay. our nbc chopper overhead. smoke could be seen across the south bay through several hours throughout the afternoon. >> let's give you the latest on this developing story. we want to show you a live look at the charred hillside in south san jose. so much better than it was just a few hours ago where one fire came dangerously close to home. one of the fires is burning
close to a golf course. the larger fire is burning in south san jose. two fires were burning about 8 miles apart from each other. this is what it looked like over our chopper, when it was at the worst, at the height of the flames. we have team coverage for you on both of these fires, including with the weather conditions as well. we again with nbc bay area's michelle roberts, and i understand that some of the evacuation orders have been lifted? >> reporter: yeah. that's true. fire crews have been busy all afternoon. they were called to the scene here at about 1:30. and they're still hard at work. i'm told the fire is still blazing, but thankfully they do say there's no longer a fear that it will spread. i'm here on curry drive where people have had a tough day. they've been watching this fire burning so dangerously close to their homes. their homes are backed up to this hill. can you see fire crews still out there way in the distance, and those guys are actuallyak